“But wait,” a nonbeliever will insist. “It seems unnecessary for an entity so powerful to have to demonstrate his sovereignty by total destruction (Gen 6:7). Why would he want to?”

Is it due to a kind of divine sadism? Or does it demonstrate some sort of emotional pettiness and neediness? There is a sound question lying behind the objectionable wording, but I wanted to put the question in this sort of objectionable way because it does capture a nonbeliever’s natural reaction to the Flood story that it is important to address. So let us be very clear: the point of God demonstrating his sovereignty is neither (a) because it is sadistic fun for him to hurt us, nor (b) because he had some sort of perverse (really, it would be quite evil) need to assert his mastery over us. No, in each case in which God demonstrates his sovereignty, the demonstration is for the benefit of all humanity to come, as recorded in the Bible. The Flood disaster shows once and for all that God’s patience will not last forever, and that he reserves to himself the absolute moral right to, as it were, pull the plug on the whole game that he started. This is just one reason we ought to have the fear of God. That fear, as the Bible reiterates time and again, keeps us on the straight and narrow. It is also worth reiterating that the antediluvian people, like the later Sodomites and the Canaanites, were unusually wicked: “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5)